There were ugly scenes at London’s iconic 100 Club last night as LawRocks debutante Squire Sanders snatched an unexpected, and in certain quarters highly unpopular, victory from hot favourites Landmark Chambers and the Practical Law Company.
A packed crowd was divided along partisan lines between the wild cheers for the band from the US firm, and unprecedented boos from an increasingly rowdy element supporting the technically superior metallers from PLC, Big Ghost.
The latter had kicked off their set with a Muse song, Hysteria, showcasing the bass player’s lightning fingers and the lead guitarist’s ability to widdle with the best of them. Many heads were banged and much hair, or at least what there was of it in the audience, was thrown around during the five-song set.
But even before the Squire Sanders band, Earth, Wind and Squires, took to the stage it was clear the newbies meant business. A lackey, most likely a trainee from one of the firm’s regional offices, distributed specially made flags for the audience to wave while the group itself were decked out in a plethora of hats. Notably, for a note-perfect version of The Bangles’ Walk Like an Egyptian, the band all wore fez’s except for the singers, who sported gold lame Cleopatra wigs. A four-song Monkees medley proved that this lot had been putting in the hours and knew their way around a segue.
The judging panel of Bob Kidby from Welbeck Land, Robert Anderson QC from Blackstone Chambers and Matt Byrne, features editor at The Lawyer came under intense pressure to bow to mob rule and give Big Ghost the nod. However, after much deliberation the trio bravely faced down the hostility by first announcing a play-off between Landmark’s Infinite Jest, a band consisting entirely of barristers and led by a singer with a voice that did Adele proud on Rolling in the Deep, and Squire Sanders. The judges eventually revealed Earth, Wind and Squires as the winner by dint of the band’s tightness and superior entertainment value. Cue outrage and a near stampede. To the bar.
“My, wasn’t that close,” said the organiser of Law Rocks, Keating Chambers’ senior clerk Nick Child. “What can I say that the audience on the night didn’t already? So many people have written to say this was one of the best yet. The standard really does just keep on getting better.”
Law Rocks, which has raised thousands of pounds for a variety of charities, began in 2009 (27 April 2009). Last night’s show was the tenth event in the UK, while earlier this year Child and numerous UK musicians travelled to Los Angeles for LawRocks LA.
Three more events are set for next year along with another Six Of The Best event in November, when previous winners compete for the title of overall winner.
Earlier this year bands from Mishcon de Reya and Berwin Leighton Paisner, both previous winners of LawRocks, won the right to entertain 1,500 lawyers at The Lawyer awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel (9 July 2012).